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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


The District of Columbia’s Local Resident Voting Rights Act was enacted in November 2022.

The law expanded the definition of the term qualified elector to include permanent residents for the purpose of local elections.

Advocates argued that noncitizens have an interest in schools, public safety and other issues, The Washington Post reported.

A lawsuit filed in March attempts to keep the law from going into effect. It argues that the law “dilutes” the votes of citizens and notes that it permits noncitizens to be elected to public office, including as Washington, D.C., mayor.

Republican U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, who represents part of southern Wisconsin, raised the issue in an Aug. 28, 2023, interview. Steil said a bill he introduced in July would prohibit noncitizen voting in D.C. and would prohibit federal funds from going to jurisdictions that allow noncitizens to vote.

Federal law prohibits noncitizens from voting in federal elections.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


Council of the District of Columbia: B24-0300 – Local Resident Voting Rights Act of 2021

Washington Post: Legal challenge filed against D.C.’s noncitizen voting law

Bryan Steil: Rep. Steil Joins Just the News to Discuss the ACE Act

Rep. Bryan Steil: Steil Introduces the American Confidence in Elections Act

U.S. House of Representatives: 18 USC 611: Voting by aliens

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Tom Kertscher joined as a Wisconsin Watch fact checker in January 2023 and contributes to our collaboration with the The Gigafact Project to fight misinformation online. Kertscher is a former longtime newspaper reporter, including at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, who has worked as a self-employed journalist since 2019. His gigs include contributing writer for PolitiFact and sports freelancer for The Associated Press.